RIO RANCHO, N.M. (KRQE) – Should the school year have a shorter summer and longer breaks year-round? That’s the question one metro-area school district is asking parents, which would be a big departure from decades of having a long summer vacation.
“Right no we’re just in those initial stages of alright so what does our community really think of this,” said Beth Pendergrass, Chief communications Strategy and Engagement Officer for Rio Rancho Public Schools.
Rio Rancho Public Schools may soon have a new academic calendar. That’s if parents vote to adopt a balanced calendar which would shorten summer vacations and add longer breaks throughout the year. Rio Rancho Public Schools said there are lots of pros and cons to a new calendar.
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“So some feel that having a shorter summer is more beneficial to students and their learning. Having those breaks dispersed throughout the school year can be beneficial to staff members who get burned out,” said Pendergrass.
They said a balanced calendar would also create less review time after long summer breaks and reduce absences. As of right now, Las Cruces is the only other district that’s adopted a balanced calendar in the state.
Rio Rancho Public Schools sent out an email to parents asking for opinions on the proposed balanced calendar, which includes three calendar options. The district says a balanced calendar will only be adopted if the community is in favor. Parents News 13 spoke to were divided on the topic.
“Giving them a little bit more time within the school year to kind of take a break or two would be beneficial,” said Michael Garcia, Rio Rancho parent.
“I think shorter summers are not a good thing, I think the kids need to time to just have a break, if they’re high school age they need time to be able to work,” said Teresa Benson, Rio Rancho parent.
Parents in Rio Rancho have until this Friday to complete the online survey.